Early this morning while most of you were still nestled warm in your beds and a few of you early birds had begun to wipe the sleep from your eyes, Chris felt raindrops come in from the window.
He shot upright in bed, waking me up, and desperately tried to make sense of his apparent distress at the sprinkles of water.
“Rain,” He mumbled almost incoherently.
“Just close the window,” I replied, annoyed at having to wake up for something so silly.
But then it clicked. The reason that the light sprinkles of rain, which signaled a possible downpour, were a cause of distress: we didn’t have a roof.
A few days ago the stars aligned and Chris was able to start working on our house. And by that I mean, ripping off the current roof so that by the time his dad gets here, everything will be ready to start the real building. One of Chris’ friend’s was more than happy to help and the process went surprisingly fast. Evelyn and I watched from a sand pile in the backyard.
The forecast promised clear blue skies but Chris pulled the tarp out of the garage just in case. He forgot one important thing, the forecast is rarely right.
As Chris grabbed his shoes and rushed out of the room, as an after thought I called after him, “Do you need help?”
It sounded like he was already out the door as he answered me, “Yes.”
Still in my pajamas I slipped on my rain boots for their protection and ease of putting on more so than their comfort. The night was still fairly warm but the breeze was cool and droplets of rain slowly added to the chill.
The tarp was set out behind the house ready to be pulled across to the front. Chris had already nailed down the corners in the back and tied a rope across where the pitch of the roof would be so the tarp could create a tent. Chris directed me to grab a corner and start pulling, which turned out to be harder than expected. The tarp kept getting caught on errant nails and the wind made it difficult to pull. Once we got it to the front of the house our error became clear: The tarp was turned the wrong way.
Between exclamations of annoyance Chris insisted that we quickly spin it around. The lack of real rain by this point was obviously a pause in the inevitable storm. Lightening brightened the sky and warned us of our lack of remaining time like a flash that comes mere seconds before the camera’s shutter. Thunder was not far behind, it’s deep, loud growl prompting us to work quickly.
As Chris grabbed one corner and I grabbed the other, the best thing that could possible happen did, but not without it’s own set of problems. A large gust of wind blew under the tarp, creating a sail, keeping it from hitting any nails as we pulled it over the roof but making it hard to hold on to. The wind blew harder and I held on tighter until my fingers hurt from the cold and the pressure. Just when I thought we had it under control another big gust blew up and I nearly flew into the night sky with it. I can only imagine what it looked like to the few cars driving by; maybe that we were hoping for our own rendition of the “Up” story.
When the tarp was finally in place we still had to put in the nails to anchor it to the ground. My job was honorary flashlight holder. We walked around the entire house, which really isn’t that big, and had to try and pull the tarp taught to create the tent like appearance. When we passed by our bedroom window I peeked inside remembering how not long ago I was feeling too warm under our down comforter but cozy and happy to be sleeping.
“I’m so glad it started raining,” I said to Chris, “sleep was becoming so dull.”
Chris finally gave me permission to get back in bed and I hurried into the house, tripped over my boots as I kicked them off, and found solace beneath that same comforter. I laid in bed and tried to fall back to sleep but I was too worked up. I tried to drown out the bang of Chris’ hammer as I silently apologized to our still sleeping neighbors. After nearly an hour or so the rain still hadn’t come down harder than a sprinkle but the thunder and lightening still threatened that it would, getting louder and brighter. I had just thought how funny (not) it would be if it never actually rained when the heavens opened up and the skies poured down buckets. Chris was still outside, getting soaked no doubt.
I fell asleep to the loud pitter patter of rain across the tarp.
And I woke up to clear, blue skies.